What’s happening to Ukraine?

“The American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers”, President James Monroe had declared in 1823. (1)

Almost 200 years have passed and now the whole Western hemisphere is in the hands and influence of America. This statement, however, didn’t just count for European Countries, of course. It was very present at the time when the U.N reported back to the United States, saying that the Afghan Government had requested for Soviet Troops in the late 70s. Where the U.S later labeled it as an Invasion into Afghanistan, even though the U.N  had called it an Intervention. (You can read more about Afghanistan here)

Or when the U.S was faced with the Cuban Missiles Crisis, which was a clear call that the Russians were bringing their military bias unto Cuba, supporting them to start a conflict with the U.S.

These “little”, yet catastrophic wars led by world Empires, have done nothing more than destabilize and divide the countries in which they took place.

“Moscow will try to divide Ukraine,“ stated US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on January 19th in Kyiv, claiming that the Ukrainian people should stick together while putting aside differences. (2)

However, what the U.S, Russia, and NATO are doing, is supporting the division of the Ukrainian people.

The Orange Revolution

Picture of Protesters in Ukraine “Orange Revolution”

In 2004, Ukraine had one of its most significant elections since it became “Independent” in 1991. An election that would determine whether Ukraine would lead the country towards the West or the East. (3)

Because of this, many governments each serving one of the sides, (west or east), tried to meddle with the election. The saddest part in all of this is that many countries like Ukraine have been convinced, that one must choose a side in order to achieve absolute independence. They, along with other countries, have allowed their own people to become divided, even though we all know that both America and Russia, have made false empty promises towards various countries. Countries such as Kabul, Cuba, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran…etc

The 2004 election involved Viktor Yushchenko and Viktor Yanukovich, a victory of Yushchenko, (Yushchenko was in favor of ties with Europe and the west), which would confirm a growing influence of the west in Ukraine. Whereas a triumph of Yanukovich, (supported by Russia), would show that there still existed a Russian influence in Ukraine. (4) At the time, Ukraine’s East, mostly Russian speaking, Orthodox, and more likely to be pro-Russian, voted for Yanukovich, while Ukraine’s West, Ukrainian speaking, catholic and pro-European, voted for Yushchenko. (5)

This, of course, caused a big division between the Ukrainian people, which is unfortunate.

This led people from both sides to suspect that fraud had occurred during the votes. Where many of Yushchenko’s supporters formed groups and went out in the streets of Kyiv, protesting for a fair election. Since then, it became Orange against Blue, orange being in favor of Yushchenko and blue of Yanukovich. (6)

Both the European Union and the United States denounced the way the election was going as fraudulent. Secretary of State Colin Powell even said, “We cannot accept this result as legitimate, because it does not meet international standards and because there has not been an investigation of the numerous and credible reports of fraud and abuse.” Powell threatened: “If the Ukrainian government does not act immediately and responsibly, there will be consequences for our relationship.” According to Nelson Ledsky of the National Democratic Institute, observers reported that “the rigged voting was in the neighborhood of over 1 million extra votes.” (12)

An order for a re-vote was eventually mandated.

Many Russians and pro-Russian Ukrainians believed that the protests had been orchestrated by the West, with American money. Most Yushchenko followers believed that Russia had been intervening with the Ukrainian elections. Putin even went forward saying, that the United States was pursuing a dictatorial foreign policy, packaged, he said, in beautiful, pseudo-democratic phraseology. (7)

During the fight of whether the West or Russian influence would win, attempts to slow down or change the outcome of the elections occurred. After Yushchenko had had dinner with the chairman of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), Ihor Smeshko, and his deputy, Volodymyr Satsiuk, he went home and his body began swelling, aching and three days later his body was forming pus. Yushchenko’s first diagnosis was food poisoning, but since he wasn’t getting better, he was later taken to Rudolfinerhaus in Vienna, Austria to get proper treatment. (8) A story in the London daily The Times, which quoted Dr. Nikolai Korpan, the Rudolfinerhaus physician who oversaw Yushchenko’s treatment, as saying that Yushchenko had been poisoned and the intention was to kill the candidate, was determined by Michael Zimpfer, (the Rudolfinerhaus director), as “entirely untrue”. Korpan also denied making the remarks. Dr. Kopan added saying that, “The suspicion of poisoning has until now neither been confirmed or excluded”. (9)

Some months later, Dr. Zimpfer came out stating that Yushchenko had ingested a concentrated dose of dioxin. Prosecutor-General Medvedko, confirming earlier allegations, said tests on the dioxins found in Yushchenko’s blood were mostly manufactured in the United States, Russia, or Great Britain. (10) 

It was never revealed what food was poisoned if it was a particular food or his whole meal, some mentioned sushi others mentioned a soup. 14 years later, in 2018, Yushchenko, on a BBC Interview, mentioned that whoever had poisoned him, had poisoned the rice that was served at the table. When he was asked if he thought that Putin had made the order to poison him, he responded saying, “I have an answer but I cannot voice it”. (9)

Around the same time when the poison was being investigated, Mr. Karmazin, a former prosecutor in Odesa, claimed he had received information that certain individuals within the presidential administration had ordered the assassination of Yanukovych. (10)

Eventually, Yushchenko ended up winning the revote with 52% against 44%. As for Yanukovych, he hired veteran U.S. political consultant Paul Manafort, a longtime veteran of GOP politics. Which made Yanukovich’s fortunes change.

Candidate Tymoschenko and Candidate Yanukovych (2010)

During the 2010 election, Tymoschenko, (Orange Revolutions Heroine) against Yanukovych (Moscow’s favorite, gone to the West club?), many claimed there were signs of fraud.  Accusations of fraud flew from one side to another each claiming that the other party wanted to sabotage the election. (13)

Yulia Tymoshenko, responsible for three weeks of rolling 2004 protests on the Maidan where Ukraine’s Supreme Court had to call fresh elections that were won by her then-ally President Viktor Yushchenko, warned  that massive fraud was being prepared by Mr. Yanukovich, in the 2010 election again, claiming “if we can’t ensure a free and fair vote, we will call people to the streets.” (14)

Whereas Yanukovich, thanks to his learning from his consultant, made speeches similar to that of Ronald Reagen, where he once said, “Do we want to keep living as we have lived these five years? When you know the answer to that, then you know how to vote.” (15)

Six years trying to lure Ukraine into integration with the EU and out of the Kremlin’s orbit, failed when Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign a pact at a summit in 2013, Lithuania. (11)

This caused a new Ukrainian revolution, known as, The Revolution of Dignity, where Yanukovych was removed and 130 people died. In May 2014, the Ukrainian people had their new president, Petro Poroshenko.  The economic part of the Ukraine/European Union Association Agreement was signed in June 2014 by Petro Poroshenko. In January 2016, Ukraine joined the DCFTA with the EU. (16)

Where does Ukraine stand?

Picture of, Post-protests in Ukraine, Revolution of Dignity

The fact that Ukraine had signed The economic part of the Ukraine/European Union Association Agreement, made Russia feel like they were being threatened.  If we have to be honest, so would the Americans, if Russia suddenly allied with, or tried to win Cuba over. Not because Russia would want war, but because Russia sought after invading the Western Hemisphere, to promote Russian influence in the West. In the same way, America seeks to promote Western influence in the Eastern Hemisphere.

On the 17th of March 2014, the Crimean parliament officially declared its independence from Ukraine and requested to join the Russian Federation. (17) Where President Vladimir Putin, signed a law formalizing Russia’s takeover of Crimea from Ukraine, the day after. (18)

Already in 2014, Putin made it clear that the Kremlin wants “a 100% guarantee” that Ukraine will be prevented from joining NATO, when it was stated by a top adviser to Russian President Vladimir, in November 2014. (19)

It will take Ukraine at least 20 to 25 years to join the European Union and NATO, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on March 3rd, 2016. (20) This is true, while the West actively seeks to pull Ukraine to NATO, Russia also tries to dissuade it.

The current situation in Ukraine is just the scaling up of everything I mentioned above, the U.S, the EU, and Russia all want Ukraine. Mainly because of Geopolitics.

Top diplomat Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov, on 17 January 2022, angrily rejected U.S. allegations that Moscow was preparing to invade Ukraine, as more Russian troops are massed near the Ukraine border. The U.S intelligence went on to say, that Russia had plans to carry out acts of sabotage and blame them on Ukraine as a “false-flag operation” to create a reason to invade. Lavrov denied the U.S. claim as “total disinformation.”

He reaffirmed that Russia wants the U.S to take Moscow’s request for binding guarantees that NATO will not embrace Ukraine or any other ex-Soviet nations, or station its forces and weapons there, seriously. (21)

U.S secretary of state, Anthony Blinken and Top Russian diplomat, Sergeĭ Viktorovich Lavrov

We literally just started 2022 and as if Covid weren’t enough, the situation in Ukraine is escalating into a possible war.

Just yesterday, the authorities of Ukraine began to send flyers with guidance to residents of the country in case of a war. A manual consisting of 14 pages, where on the very first page, it states that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are able to protect the people of Ukraine and “effectively deter the aggressor.” (23)

Where already today, the US Embassy in Kyiv requested for the State Department to authorize the departure of all nonessential staff along with their families. The State Department confirmed that they have “nothing to announce at this time,” adding, “We conduct rigorous contingency planning, as we always do, in the event the security situation deteriorates.” The U.S has informed Ukraine that they’re “likely to start evacuations as early as next week”. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky apparently had a conversation about it with Blinken, where he told him that if the United States took such a dramatic step, it would be considered as an “overreaction.” (24)

Tons of defensive equipment have been sent to Ukraine these past weeks, anti-tanks, anti-aircraft missiles, loans (which eventually have to be returned in some way), ammunition,  lethal aid, and even a 5.3 million euro field hospital from the U.S and their NATO allies. (25)

Ukraine deserves a chance at full independence, both from the U.S and Russia. A chance where they don’t need to worry about empires trying to influence Ukrainians thinking and politics.

But for now, things will only stay where they are until, President Vladimir Putin comes up with the answer Blinken, Ukraine, and the U.S president are waiting for. However, in my opinion, it is very unlikely that President Putin allows Ukraine to join NATO. Which was the main factor where Lavrov and Blinken disagreed on, during their meeting on the 21st of January in Geneva, Switzerland.

References

1. The Monroe Doctrine
(pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/tr-monroe/)

2. Support Ukraine or Open a Pandoras Box
(https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/support-ukraine-or-open-a-pandoras-box-blinken.html)

3. The Orange Revolution
(https://www.ukrweekly.com/uwwp/wp-content/uploads/year_in_review/2004.pdf) Page 1

4. 5. 6. 7. Ukraine’s Orange Revolution The Atlantic (https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2004/12/ukraines-orange-revolution/305157/)

8. Yushchenko and the Poison theory ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4041321.stm )

9. Viktor Yushchenko: Ukraine’s ex-president on being poisoned (https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-europe-43611547)

10.  The Orange Revolution (https://www.ukrweekly.com/uwwp/wp-content/uploads/year_in_review/2004.pdf) Page 10

11. Ukraine aligns with Moscow as EU summit fails (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/29/ukraine-yanukovych-moscow-eu-summit)

12. International observers say Ukrainian election was free and fair (https://www.oscepa.org/en/news-a-media/press-releases/press-2010/international-observers-say-ukrainian-election-was-free-and-fair)

13. Viktor Yanukovych winner of the presidential election in Ukraine (https://www.robert-schuman.eu/en/eem/0950-viktor-yanukovych-winner-of-the-presidential-election-in-ukraine)

14. Ukraine election: Growing concern of fraud (https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2010/0205/Ukraine-election-Growing-concern-of-fraud)

15. Ukraine’s American Imports (https://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/robert-schlesinger/2014/02/21/ukraines-long-history-with-us-political-consultants-and-lobbyists)

16. EU signs pacts with Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28052645)

17. Ukraine says it is preparing to leave Crimea (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pro-russian-forces-break-into-ukrainian-naval-base-in-crimea/2014/03/19/2a9c5eaa-af46-11e3-a49e-76adc9210f19_story.html)

18. Ukraine: Putin signs Crimea annexation (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26686949)

19. Russia Wants a ‘100% Guarantee’ That Ukraine Won’t Join NATO (https://time.com/3594011/ukraine-nato-russia-kremlin/)

20. Juncker Says Ukraine Not Likely To Join EU, NATO For 20-25 Years (https://www.rferl.org/a/juncker-says-ukraine-not-likely-join-eu-nato-for-20-25-years/27588682.html)

21. Russia denies looking for a pretext to invade Ukraine (https://apnews.com/article/russia-officials-ukraine-invasion-f58cbbd7eca51cccf74ebd4be68484e8)

22. The U.S. supports Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania sending defensive equipment to Ukraine Social Sharing (https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/ukraine-russia-tensions-saturday-1.6324216)

23. Kyiv Began to Distribute Instructions in Case of War (https://www.investmentwatchblog.com/kyiv-began-to-distribute-instructions-in-case-of-war/)

24. US Embassy in Kyiv asks State Dept. to authorize the departure of nonessential personnel (https://edition.cnn.com/2022/01/21/politics/us-embassy-ukraine-nonessential-personnel/index.html)

25. The U.S sends the first shipment of military aid to Ukraine amid standoff with Russia (https://www.euronews.com/2022/01/22/us-sends-first-shipment-of-military-aid-to-ukraine-amid-standoff-with-russia)

The U.S. supports Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania sending ‘defensive equipment’ to Ukraine (https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/ukraine-russia-tensions-saturday-1.6324216)

‘Special partnership:’ Canadian loan of $120 million welcomed by Ukrainian president (https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/special-partnership-canadian-loan-of-120-million-welcomed-by-ukrainian-president-1.5750802)

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